There’s a reason the President’s White House handlers shield Mr. Biden from the press as much as they can, and you needn’t look further than Thursday’s town hall (CNN) for an answer.
Even with softball questions, Mr. Biden’s performance revealed why so many Americans are losing confidence in his Presidency, reports the editorial board of the WSJ.
Biden just doesn’t seem to know what he’s talking about.
Oil Production – a Growing Public Concern
Mr. Biden blamed the OPEC cartel for not producing more oil, but then he said the answer is “ultimately . . . investing in renewable energy.”
Most cars still run on gasoline, not solar or wind power. Electric cars remain impractical for most Americans. The way to reduce gas prices is to produce more oil to increase the supply. Mr. Biden wouldn’t have to plead with OPEC to produce more if he weren’t working so hard to limit U.S. oil production.
Supply Chain Bottlenecks and Inflation
The President blamed Covid and employers who won’t pay enough to attract workers. But employers are bidding up wages nearly across the economy and they still can’t fill the more than 10 million job openings nationwide.
The National Guard?
Asked if he’d call in the National Guard to address the shortage of truckers, Mr. Biden said he would.
The White House later clarified that governors control deployment of the guard.
Biden’s Strength? Foreign Policy
Regarding Taiwan—a crucial issue with China—Mr. Biden misstated U.S. policy. Asked “can you vow to protect Taiwan,” Mr. Biden said “yes.”
The actual U.S. policy toward Taiwan is “strategic ambiguity” about U.S. intentions. The Taiwan Relations Act commits the U.S. to help Taiwan defend itself but does not include a NATO-like commitment to go to war to defend the island democracy. Many people think the U.S. should make such a commitment explicit so Beijing doesn’t miscalculate and invade the island. Was Mr. Biden announcing a change in U.S. policy?
Emblematic of Strategic Confusion
What, wonders the WSJ, do the “hard men in Beijing” think of the president’s performance?
Does the fast White House retreat from Mr. Biden’s words mean the U.S. doesn’t intend to defend Taiwan? What is U.S. policy? Wars have started amid such mixed signals to adversaries.
The WSJ professes no pleasure in pointing this out. The U.S., “needs a President who can handle the strains of the job.”
Mr. Biden was never Demosthenes, and all Presidents stumble in speech, continues the WSJ.
But Mr. Biden’s frequent public confusion about the major issues of the day is a reason for the growing public concern.
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